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Albatross 18

 

 

SCORE: 79

 

Albatross 18 

 

I've played several free Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, and this one stands out as the best by far. First off, it's not a hack & slash game as many MMORPGs turn out to be. In fact, there's no violence in it; it's a golf game. And yet, it still has a depth to live up to it's MMORPG title.

Graphically, this game is great. As such, expect it to stretch graphics cards, but there are lower graphics settings to help older computers. Do know that some of the clothing options for females are bikinis and similar clothes, but you can pick from a plethora of other clothing choices. Two characters should be noted though: Brie, a caddy who need more clothing, and Kaz, a character whose dead girlfriend visits sometimes. All of this is avoidable by simply picking other characters and caddies. After all, there's eight characters and nine caddies to choose from, each with unique statistics that can be upgraded to fit your playing style.

The music is mostly forgettable. The sound effects fit, but don't do anything amazing. Personally, I just put on my own music in the background. One thing of note is that this is an open community, so you will get some people who will swear; however, they make up a rather small percentage. Furthermore, there's a good buddy system to allow you to find friends to play with that minimizes the issue even more.

When it comes to gameplay, anyone who has played a round of Mario Golf will be familiar with the mechanics. In fact, this basically IS multiplayer online Mario Golf. Well, not entirely. I don't remember seeing special shots in Mario Golf. These allow for some crazy shots, getting to areas otherwise unobtainable. However, they are not needed to do well in the game if you decide to not use them. For further diversity, pick to play 3, 6, 9, or all 18 of any of the 14 courses in normal, shuffle, or random play. Else, go for a 9 or 18 hole tournament, with up to 30 other players. Only one issue of note: there is  a Pang Battle mode where you basically bet on your own abilities; however, it is probably the worst way to make pang in the entire game, thanks to a 5% automatic withdrawal of you winnings and lack of completion bonus pang.

Overall, you can't go wrong with Albatross 18. It has its flaws, but the community is generally superb, which is matched by just being a rather family-friendly game. To that detail, it even has a family mode so the whole family can sit down together to enjoy it. It's even FREE! The producers make their money off of special items that are unnecessary to play the game. However, I will give one very strong warning: like any good MMORPG, this game is very addicting. Some pros have spent over 100 days (read: 2400 hours) on the game. I personally have logged over a week in the game. Yet, ask yourself which is better: spending lots of money playing perhaps questionable games or spending no money for a mostly clean game? 
- Brian

 

Graphics: 70%
Sound: 78%
Replay/Extras: 86%
Gameplay: 90%
Family Friendly Factor: 73%
System: Personal Computer
Publisher: OGPlanet
ESRB Rating: 'NR' for Not Rated

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